Chapter 8. The Big Leagues

The day-to-day job of a senior manager depends greatly on the company you’re in. It would be silly of me to say that my job running a startup engineering organization of 70 people was the same as the job held by a senior manager who’s over thousands of people at a Fortune 500 company. Books upon books upon books are written about senior management at scaled companies from a general perspective. I’ve listed some recommended reading at the end of this chapter for general-purpose senior leadership advice. All of these books are fantastic and essential guidelines for senior leaders.

But we’re not general-purpose senior leaders. We’re technology senior leadership. This book is for the engineer who wrote code for a while and eventually moved into management, and successfully grew a career up along that path. And as engineers, we share some common responsibilities that are specific to our role as technologists and come partially from our upbringing working in that ever-changing world.

As technical senior managers, we bring special skills to an organization. In particular, we bring a willingness to embrace and drive change as needed. We’re able to question the way we do things now, and try different things if our current way of operating isn’t working. We understand that technology evolves quickly, and we want our organizations to evolve to keep up with these changes. We have a unique role, but we still need to succeed in our general senior management roles. ...

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